By: Marisa Herman Associate Editor
Pete Martinez is an innovator.
The Boca resident was a part of the IBM team that helped develop the personal computer, the internet and Watson.
Now, he is working on projects through his company SIVOTEC Analytics that he says will “pale everything we have done up to this point.”
And he is doing it on familiar territory, the former IBM campus, now known as the Boca Raton Innovation Campus.
The name of the company SIVOTEC stands for “signatures in vivo through technology.” Vivo is Latin for “in the living.” SIVOTEC focuses on the individual human attributes, or signatures, that shape health, athletic development and human performance.
Its mission: combine the silos of science, technology and business to provide a path to bring scientific research to market.
To do so, Martinez has as team of seven scientists from leading institutions across the country and strategic partners.
“There’s a lot of data sitting dormant and we are bringing it to life,” he said.
The company finds scientific research that is often published in a medical journal and then shelved away and figures out if there is a way to make it into a profitable venture.
Often times, scientists publish their work after years of time in the lab and declare victory, Martinez said. The work ends up lost in a database and not disseminated into the public realm.
SIVOTEC aims to build upon those concepts by using technology like artificial intelligence to speed up the process and create results that help people better understand how the human body works.
Martinez’s team began analyzing concussion protocol for high school athletes through artificial intelligence.
The computer tracked 2,000 high school athletes both male and female who played all different sports and experienced a concussion.
It logged information about every student and their experience with concussion symptoms and when they were resolved. The findings were in line with what current concussion protocol calls for, Martinez said.
The model helped create a prediction timeline for when symptoms like headaches, dizziness and difficulty concentrating will go away. The timeline can be used to support clinical decision making in treating concussions.
The study took just six months to complete and was published in February of this year in several medical journals.
SIVOTEC is also researching what triggers concussions into becoming a chronic disease like CTE.
Martinez said the team has determined that it involves a genetic predisposition to brain injury and a biochemical reaction that occurs in the body when a concussion happens. SIVOTEC is working with former Notre Dame football players who played from 1965-1980 to further its studies.
SIVOTEC has developed a memometer, a memory meter to help understand short term memory. The one-minute test shows pictures in context. The data of patients is then collected and the machine processes and logs when memory loss takes place. Every time the test is administered, the computer will monitor progression to help pinpoint if there are early indicators of memory loss.
Martinez said it can take a geneticist four days to figure out what SIVOTEC’s artificial intelligence can diagnose in 10 seconds.
Working with the University of Miami, the SIVOTEC team has created a tool for geneticists across the world to use. It is used in six countries and 1,000 labs and has analyzed 150,000 cases.
The goal is to help get parents with a sick child an answer quicker. It also can help save insurance companies money by providing a quicker result, Martinez said.